Autonomous vehicles: according to Philippe Giguère, the technology exists and the goal is close at hand

According to Professor Philippe Giguère of Université Laval’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, the 50-year-old dream of autonomous vehicles is increasingly becoming a reality, thanks to artificial intelligence and mobile robotics. A look at the subject in an interview with ULaval Nouvelles.


“On-board computing power, information capture, inertial units: over the past 10 years, we’ve been witnessing a revolution,” says Professor Philippe Giguère of Université Laval’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. Perception, localization, planning, artificial intelligence: all this put together,” he continues, ‘means that today, we can dream of autonomous vehicles on our roads.’

On May 28, Professor Giguère gave an online and indoor lecture as part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s continuing education activities for the general public. The title of his presentation was “Google Car and company: how do autonomous vehicles work?”.

The speaker began his presentation with a spectacular image. In 1956, the American newspaper Saturday Night Post published an advertisement paid for by America’s Electric Light and Power Companies. The black-and-white illustration depicted a futuristic vision of motoring. A family consisting of two parents and two children was shown playing a board game in an autonomous car speeding along an “electric superhighway”. The caption mentioned that the steering wheel was controlled by electronic devices embedded in the road. Electricity would make traffic jams, collisions and driver fatigue a thing of the past.

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